eco ramblings

a dialogue with an Eco Patriot

Archive for the ‘event’ Category

Rethink Your Impact Contest

Posted by Luke on August 31, 2010

In a previous post, I announced a contest – “ReTHINK Your Impact” –  in which any business can win an eco makeover.  We’re choosing one lucky company (a coffee shop or restaurant or other foodservice establishment) who will win free products from Eco-Products for an entire year.  That’s a lot of cups!  We’ll also assess all of their operations and suggest eco improvements, essentially giving them free sustainability consulting.  Not bad!

The other part of the contest involves us giving away three different $4,000 sustainability grants for a total of $12,000.  The grants will be applied to a cause or initiative in the selected company’s community to educate people about composting, environmental conservation, recycling, or another sustainability-related activity.

Click here to nominate your favorite coffee shop or restaurant or check it out on Facebook.  And watch this clever video…


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Who Knew Dirt Was So Important?

Posted by Luke on June 29, 2010

There’s a new documentary out I haven’t been able to see yet, but would like to.  It’s called Dirt! The Movie and is narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis.  It was a selection in the Sundance Film Festival and has won numerous other awards.  The movie is all about the importance of dirt and how the world depends on it yet we are taking pitiful care of it.  Here’s the trailer…

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Colorado Recycling Summit

Posted by Luke on June 13, 2010

I spent part of last week in Steamboat, Colorado at the Colorado Recycling Summit organized by the Colorado Association for Recycling.  Did you know that Colorado has a goal to divert 75 % of waste from landfills by 2020?

At the Summit, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on Zero Waste Events & Venues with some very knowledgeable people.

  • Liz Wahl, Food & Beverage Director for Steamboat Resorts, and Dave Epstein, VP of Twin Enviro (Steamboat landfill and compost facility) – They discussed how Steamboat Ski Resort is working towards zero waste in a close partnership between the resort and the compost facility.  Liz receives hugs and compliments from employees everyday about how they love the fact that they are composting – a great example of how sustainability initiatives can improve employee morale and engagement.
  • Jennifer Bohn, Boulder County Conservation Specialist – She shared insight on how she has taken the Boulder County Fair down a path towards zero waste with a 112,000 attendees last year.  One of her tips was to redeploy staff from being “trash goalies” to actually sorting waste after it was collected to ensure it goes to the proper waste stream.
  • Jack Debell, Director of Development for CU Recycling, and Molly Brown, Volunteer Coordinator for CU Recycling – Jack is an icon in the state recycling scene as well as in the national scene for university sustainability.  He helped CU attain recognition as America’s Top Green University by the Sierra Club.  He and Molly discussed how they achieved a nearly 80% waste diversion rate at 56,000 person stadium Folsom Field.  I’m pretty sure that’s the largest stadium in the country to achieve a waste diversion rate anywhere near that level.

In one of my next posts, I’ll discuss a couple key trends identified at the Summit.

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Why Do People Litter?

Posted by Luke on June 10, 2010

Are people really that lazy?  Is it accidental?  Or do they just not care?  I’m always amazed when I see litter on the ground, especially when there’s a trash can nearby.

We’re all aware of the swelling size of the Pacific Garbage Patch.  Cleaning up litter on the ground is a lot easier than cleaning up litter in the ocean.  We can all rent boats and sail to “the patch” and troll for garbage.  That could take a while.  I definitely applaud groups who are doing exactly that though.

But the root problem of the Great Garbage Patch is that people litter.  I just can’t figure out why.  If we can stop people from littering, we’d prevent another “Patch” from forming.  Maybe I’m writing this post a little too late because an Atlantic Garbage Patch was just found in the Bermuda Triangle of all places.

One organization that is trying to address the root problem of people littering is California State Parks.  They recently held an event at Carlsbad State Beach (a popular location for professional surf tournaments) to educate people about the problems of littering and to clean up the beaches.  Jim Hayes, an Eco-Products employee who lives in Southern California, gave up his weekend to participate and I want to recognize Jim and the other 200+ volunteers for their efforts. They picked up hundreds of bags of litter.  Nice job.  You’ve set a great example.

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3rd Fastest Growing Company in Boulder County

Posted by Luke on May 28, 2010

Thanks to all of the loyal customers and dedicated employees of Eco-Products, last night we were named the 3rd fastest growing company in Boulder County.  Our 3-year growth rate was 388% growth.  We’ve now been in the top 15 every year for the past 5 years.  Here’s the history:

  • 2010 – #3
  • 2009 – #1
  • 2008 – #6
  • 2007 – #13
  • 2006 – #6

I truly feel privileged to be part of such a dynamic and exciting company.  Thanks again to our loyal followers and supporters as well as our talented employees.  This wouldn’t be possible without you.  You make me want to continue to work my ass off every single day.

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Another “Celebrity” Sighting with Eco-Products

Posted by Luke on May 24, 2010

There’s debate with some of my colleagues over whether or not the title “Celebrity” is legitimate with this sighting.  I think it is.  Most women probably agree with me.  Most men, probably not.

Do you recall the last season of ABC’s The Bachelorette when Jillian Harris chose Ed?  Well, apparently Jillian is an interior designer for restaurants.  She stopped by the Eco-Products booth at the National Restaurant Association tradeshow in Chicago on Saturday.  She’s definitely the same perky and smiling girl that she is on TV although TV makes her look a lot taller.

Jillian, The Bachelorette, and I at the Eco-Products booth

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Free Product for a Year or a $4,000 Grant for Your Community

Posted by Luke on May 19, 2010

Eco-Products just announced a really incredible contest – Rethink Your Impact contest.  We are giving away free product to a business for an entire year and three $4,000 grants to a businesses’ local community.  Restaurants, coffee shops, and other businesses can self-nominate or they can have their customers nominate them.  Imagine winning free product for a year or winning the opportunity to give a $4,000 grant to a meaningful cause in your local community.  Pretty impactful.

Free Product for a Year

We want to give a restaurant, coffee shop, or other business a green makeover.  If you’ve been considering going green, but aren’t sure where to start or if you can afford it, we’ll give you the resources.  The will be challenged to show why their business is deserving of the makeover which includes a full line of Eco-Products made from renewable and recycled resources.  Well provide educational materials, including signage and training for staff to exhibit that show how simple choices, such as which cups you use, really add up.  We’ll also help you setup a composting and recycling program.

$4,000 Grant for Your Community

For businesses currently using Eco-Products, win a triple-shot of grants designed to spread your positive impact throughout your community. Over the course of a year, you’ll work with Eco-Products to plan three grant programs (valued at $4000.00 each) that will improve access to or educate your community about sustainable and eco-friendly choices. We’ll be looking for initiatives like supporting a composting program for your town’s Farmer’s Market, helping fund a recycling program for a school, promoting a clean-up of your local downtown park, or setting up a community garden. Eco-Products will work with you to create the best program for the most positive impact in your local area.

For more information, visit the Rethink Your Impact web page.

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Compost Awareness Week

Posted by Luke on May 5, 2010

The first couple weeks in May are full of holidays:

  • Cinco de Mayo
  • National Teacher Appreciation Week
  • Mother’s Day
  • May Day
  • Space Day
  • National Pet Week
  • National Bar-B-Que Month
  • National Asparagus Month (I guess vegetarians need a month to go along side of National BBQ Month?)
  • National Egg Month (Not sure how this fits in with the above two.  Tough competition for eggs.)
  • A bunch of others that most people don’t know or care about

and… Compost Awareness Week.

If you’ve been considering composting at home, now’s a great time to start.  It doesn’t have to be difficult and the compost you create will be rich with nutrients for your garden.  Here’s an informative website that walks you through the steps to setting up home composting.

Also, if you’re considering having a picnic in the month of May to celebrate one of the lesser-known holidays, this article has some suggestions on how to have an eco-friendly picnic which, oddly enough, includes using Eco-Products.

Here’s one last little factoid to encourage composting… approximately 25% of the waste sent to landfills is organic waste that could be composted.  Another 30+% is recyclable.  Imagine cutting down on landfill use by over 50% through those two simple activities.

Alright, I’ll get off my composting soapbox.

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Earth Day Plan B

Posted by Luke on April 22, 2010

Since there was a torrential downpour last night in Boulder, the conditions weren’t conducive to Eco-Products’ original Earth Day plans.  Instead of weeding noxious plants, our Eco Patriots quickly mobilized an effort to clean up the local Boulder Creek, bike path, and along a highway.  It was very worthwhile and we came back with about a dozen large trash bags full of litter.  It’s actually pretty gratifying doing service work.

Picking up trash along the Boulder Creek
Eco Patriots picking up trash along a highway

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Earth Day at Eco-Products

Posted by Luke on April 21, 2010

It sounds cheesy, but at Eco-Products we think everyday should be Earth Day.  Our mission revolves around making products that are gentler on the planet.  It’s what our employees are passionate about.  And when our employees aren’t in the office making greener products or talking with customers, they are typically outside enjoying mother earth.  They’re either hiking, biking, gardening, running, skiing, or doing other outdoor activities.

To follow our passion for enjoying and improving the earth, we decided to spend Earth Day out in the weeds (literally) improving the local ecosystem that we all enjoy on the weekends.  To kick off Earth Day, we’re having an organic barbecue.  After that, the employees of Eco-Products are heading to the Boulder Reservoir, putting on work gloves, and weeding an invasive species of plant called Tamarisk.

Now, you might be wondering why we are going to weed instead of doing something else.  Last year our employees did a project of cleaning up litter from the local river/creek in Boulder.  This year, though, we heard that the City of Boulder really needed some volunteers to help with this invasive plant and we thought it was a way to give back to our local community at the same time.

The Tamarisk is noxious because it creates a very salty habitat and soaks up all the moisture leaving none for other plants.  Ultimately, it takes over environments and prevents the growth of other plant species which help support a healthy ecosystem.  It also sheds very dry leaves that are highly flammable.  Given we typically have forest fire issues in Colorado, we’re hoping our weeding efforts help prevent a future fire.

I hope you’re able to get out of the weeds of day-to-day work on your Earth Day and enjoy the wonderful outdoors.

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